What You Need to Know About Cyber Monday

One of the Biggest Shopping Days of the Year

Mother and daughter looking at Cyber Monday deals on a tablet computer
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JGI Jamie Grill/Getty Images

Cyber Monday is the first Monday after Thanksgiving. It is known for online shopping deals. It was christened in 2005 by Shop.org.

Cyber Monday has become one of the biggest online shopping days of the year, surpassing even Black Friday. In 2019, shoppers spent $7.9 billion on Cyber Monday compared to $5.8 billion on Black Friday. That's true even though Black Friday had 93.2 million shoppers compared to 83.3 million for Cyber Monday. This year, the National Retail Federation predicts that online and other non-store sales will reach between $202.5 billion and $218.4 billion, up between 20% and 30% from 2019.

Cyber Monday Sales Trends

Over the years, half of all Cyber Monday spending occurred on Monday during normal business hours. More recently, mobile spending increased to more than 40% of total sales. Instead of starting at 8 a.m., Cyber Monday basically begins at midnight and continues throughout the day as consumers check their mobile devices for deals.

Cyber Monday has set new records each year since its inception. Between 2005 and 2010, sales doubled. Media coverage of Cyber Monday sales improved, and shoppers began looking for them online.

During the 2008 recession, online deals became even more important. There were also fewer shopping days after Thanksgiving. That pent-up demand benefited Cyber Monday. Since 2010, Cyber Monday sales have increased eightfold, according to Comscore data compiled by BlackFriday.com.

In 2019, Cyber Monday sales hit a record $7.9 billion, a 31% increase and the highest digital spending day in U.S. history. One reason for the boost was that shoppers had less time since Thanksgiving was a week later than in 2018.

Year Sales
2005 $484 million
2006 $608 million
2007 $733 million
2008 $846 million
2009 $887 million
2010 $1.0 billion
2011 $1.3 billion
2012 $1.5 billion
2013 $1.7 billion
2014 $2.6 billion
2015 $3.1 billion
2016 $3.7 billion
2017 $4.7 billion
2018 $6.0 billion
2019 $7.9 billion

Why Is Cyber Monday So Popular?

In 2020, Cyber Monday is expected to be even more popular than ever. Leading up to the day, almost one-third of shoppers planned to take advantage of Cyber Monday sales, compared to just 24% for Black Friday.

In a BlackFriday.com survey, more than 80% of shoppers said they were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many stores were scheduled to be closed on Thanksgiving, which may have sent shoppers online instead. Retailers started offering Cyber Monday sales for the entire week, too.

Almost 60% of shoppers preferred online shopping during the holiday season, according to a 2018 Harris Survey on behalf of The Hill. The survey found that 27% of time-strapped shoppers said they found online shopping more convenient. More than one in five respondents said that 24-hour convenience was a big reason. While 40% of respondents preferred using a computer, another 20% would rather use their smartphone.

Shoppers are using mobile phones to shop online more than ever. Almost half (45%) of Americans use their cell phones while in a store to try and find a better price online. Another 12% have used their phone to pay for an item while in the store.

Impact on Retail Stores and Shopping Malls

Cyber Monday reflects the growth of internet retailing. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, the popularity of online retailing was destroying shopping malls. Research from the University of Buffalo showed that 96% of the decline in shopping mall revenue was due to Amazon alone.

The success of internet retailing spells doom for brick-and-mortar stores.

In 2018, former JCPenney CEO Mike Ullman said that only 25% of America's 1,200 shopping malls will survive for the next five years. Those that do will serve the highest-earning 20%. Ullman said that only malls that can attract an Apple or Tesla store would survive.

Since then, retailers have filed for bankruptcy at record-high rates, including well-known brands such as Payless, FTD, and Barneys New York in 2019. The pandemic accelerated the decline of brick-and-mortar stores. In 2020, famous chains such as JCPenney, Stein Mart, and Nieman Marcus declared bankruptcy.

How to Get the Best Cyber Monday Deals

Retail sales can be found on CyberMonday.com, which features a schedule of which retailers offer deals at what times in a "Deal of the Hour" promotion. You can find sales from more than 800 online retailers.

Top stores like Walmart, Amazon, and Target often start cyber week sales on Thanksgiving Day itself. The best way to get in on their deals is to sign up for their email newsletters.

Deals often consist of free shipping, though retailers have also offered various price discounts. Other offers may include free gifts with purchase.

Article Sources

  1. Corporate Financial Institute. “Everything You Need to Know About Cyber Monday.” Accessed Nov. 30, 2020.

  2. Comscore. “The (Almost) $8 Billion Day: Cyber Monday Sets Another Digital Commerce Record.” Accessed Nov. 30, 2020.

  3. National Retail Federation. “Thanksgiving Weekend Draws Nearly 190 Million Shoppers, Spending up 16 Percent.” Accessed Nov. 30, 2020.

  4. National Retail Federation. "NRF Expects Holiday Sales Will Grow Between 3.6 and 5.2 Percent." Accessed Nov. 30, 2020.

  5. Comscore. "Why Is Cyber Monday Becoming More Important to Holiday Season E-Commerce?" Accessed Nov. 30, 2020.

  6. BlackFriday.com. "What Is Cyber Monday? History and Statistics." Accessed Nov. 30, 2020.

  7. BlackFriday.com. "Cyber Week Survey 2020: 'Tis the Season to Shop Online, Use Curbside Pickup." Accessed Nov. 30, 2020.

  8. The Hill. "58% of Americans Prefer Online Shopping to In-store Purchases During the Holiday Season." Accessed Nov. 30, 2020.

  9. Pew Research Center. "Online Shopping and E-Commerce, 1. Online Shopping and Purchasing Preferences." Accessed Nov. 30, 2020.

  10. State University of New York College at Buffalo. "Impact of Online Shopping on Shopping Malls," Page 41. Accessed Nov. 30, 2020.

  11. Axios. "Mall Massacre: 75% of Shopping Malls Will Be Wiped Away." Accessed Nov. 30, 2020.

  12. CB Insights. "Here’s a List of 117 Bankruptcies in the Retail Apocalypse and Why They Failed." Accessed Nov. 30 2020.